Our atmosphere functions as living ecosystem of chemical reactions. Through the help of the water cycle, chemicals pass through the atmosphere and are eventually taken up by the soil, surface water, or organic materials. Human beings have added enormously to the atmospheric burden of many toxic substances. The most prominent evidence of this is the presence of acid rain: precipitation and particles that have been made acidic by air pollution.
Acid rain is a direct consequence of the atmosphere's self-cleansing process. The tiny droplets of water that make up clouds continuously capture suspended particles and soluble trace gases. Not all trace gases can be removed by precipitation, sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides in the atmosphere are chemically converted into forms that are readily added into cloud droplets: sulfuric and nitric acids, the main acids involved in acid rain.
The reaction cycle takes place in the troposphere. It begins when sunlight hits an ozone molecule (O3) the result is a molecule of oxygen (O2) and a...
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- Understanding Acid Rain Through the Study of Protist Communities in Various Acidic pH Levels ____________________________________________________________________ Alison Knasin, Sherri Eldridge – E7, Biology I (BI 107), November 25, 2014 Abstract Man-made chemicals, such as sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxide, oxidize quickly. When they enter the atmosphere, they react with water and oxygen, forming sulfuric and nitric acids, and fall as acid precipitation. This acidification could change many ecosystems, causing some organisms to die and others to be without a food source, an effect known as trophic cascades.... [tags: PH, Acid, PH meter, Ciliate]
1913 words (5.5 pages)
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